Tag Archives: parenting
I am not a hard core all-naturalist, but I’m getting there. I really started reading labels, buying mainly veggies, making the kids go to be early and getting on a sleep schedule, and not watching too much TV or playing too many video games. I’m probably too strict in some areas, and when I notice something going on, I am the first to talk to a teacher or find help. I am not parent of the year, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am very involved with my children and try to give them the best.
I feel like the parent who follows all of the rules of feeding a baby certain foods at certain times of their lives to avoid allergies, then they have the only kid in class allergic to everything. My child was diagnosed with ADD. Despite counseling, organizational help, sleep schedules, check lists, diet changes, that was the final verdict this week. This is probably melodramatic, especially if you have gone through this yourself, but it felt like a terminal illness diagnosis. Where did I fail? What can I do better? How can I fix this? How can I ensure she’ll have the best opportunity?
I struggle with depression, and refuse to medicate it. I find something within me and I push past it. I try pushing Syd and it isn’t working. We’ll have great strides for a bit, then the backpack and binder from tornado hell. She’s always been in honors classes and can sit perfectly still during her three hour choir performances. She’s a great test taker, and can read for hours without getting bored. When the therapist mentioned it for the first time, I thought she was insane. There is no way that my genius child has ADD.
Why is this so hard for me to accept? I’m literally crying during this post over something so stupid. I’m scared of being another statistic. I don’t want to medicate her unless absolutely necessary. The therapist said it would fix things in a snap, but I just don’t want to chemically alter her with pharmaceuticals. There is a place for medication and some kids need it. I just don’t want to unless it is our only choice.
So, what are my choices? Stay on her ass and hold her hand throughout her school career (I’ve tried the Love and Logic methods and she doesn’t care if she crashes and burns). I can’t do nothing. I made a deal with the Jeffro that I get six months to do it my way and if we have no or little progress, then I don’t get to try things my way any more. I am throwing out all foods with artificial anything and only buying whole foods. It’s a little more work for me, but if it works totally worth it. I am researching vitamins, food/natural remedies, and making our whole family eat like this. I’m taking it to another level and getting rid of the chemicals we use for cleaning and lotions. I can’t do natural deodorant. I’ll take some trace chemicals to smell good. I can clean with vinegar which is an amazing antibiotic and antiviral. So, I’ll take over the cleaning of the bathrooms just to prove a point.
So who else has dealt with this? Is there anyone out there that found an answer outside of the prescription? I’m willing to try anything. I would love to hear encouraging stories. But, I want to be a realist, too. If we have to medicate, it is what it is. But, I will be able to say that we’ve tried absolutely everything before going that route.
My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for creativity and hope. Thank you for support, and guidance.
Daily Thanksgiving: I’m thankful for the Internet and books about whatever I want to learn.
When I Have Kardashian Kash: Some sort of tropical destination.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Lemon- lemon whoopie filled with vanilla and lemon curd cream cheese filling. http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com
Today I reflect on my past job experiences and think about how silly, naïve, and thoughtless I was, at times. I am thankful that I can reflect on my inexperience and remember being a bonehead, myself, when my daughter does something questionable. I really am able to put myself in her shoes whenever Jeff and I ask, “what was she thinking?” She wasn’t! She doesn’t have the life experience to know otherwise.
My first job, at 16, waiting tables was a disaster. I tried as hard as I knew how. I worked my butt off. Looking back, I was probably perceived as lazy and uncaring. Truth is, I didn’t know how to take a hint or what was expected or how to think about others. This one lady was trying to train me and was showing me how she cleaned the salad dressing station and I said that it was so unfair that she had to do that herself. I didn’t realize she was showing me that my particular shift was responsible for that side job. So, I’d just leave when my shift was over. Clueless! Another time I was clueless was when I had a boss casually mention that sometimes if we’re running late, maybe we need to get up earlier or leave sooner. I had no idea that she was telling me that I was having an issue with tardiness. I look back and am so embarrassed at what a dunderhead I was.
All of that makes me remember what it is like growing up. That is how we learn how to be responsible adults. We make stupid mistakes. We are oblivious to the world around us. We are airheaded. But one day, it just clicks. Hopefully! And, then we see a whole world around us and that we are not the center of it, but rather a part of something much bigger. When we recognize our bigger part is when we are able to contribute to humanity and not take, take, take.
Maybe this is the approach I need to take with my tween. I need to show her how she is a part of a large family dynamic and that we’re not in Sydney’s world. My children are a huge part of my life, obviously, and I would do most anything for them. But I want them to see that there are others around them and they are not the center of the universe. I want to give them everything, but then they expect it and want more. I want to save them from stupid mistakes, but then they learn that Mom will bail them out. So today I am making the hardest parenting choice I’ve had to make to date.
Sydney is in after school choir, Pop Group. I am so excited that she is doing an extracurricular activity at school and making new friends. I saw on the FB page of the school that there is a concert tonight. So I asked Syd about it and she said she didn’t know, this was last week. I asked earlier this week, still no clue. Then Wednesday came and went and I never heard anything. Jeff found a note on our bed at 9:30 last night saying that the students had to be there at 4:55 today and that the concert is at 6. Well, on Thursdays, my in-laws keep the babies and Easton has soccer. Even if he didn’t have soccer, I wouldn’t be able to drive out and get them and get Syd back in time. Had I had a day or two of notice, I’d rearrange my schedule and figured something out. I can’t drop everything the day of and try to figure out how to get babies, get Syd to rehearsal, and go to the concert with two babies and soccer. So, I am doing the hardest thing ever and teaching her that if you are not going to give me a heads up, then I can’t stop down and accommodate you. I am not bailing you out of this one, and you have to explain what is going on to your teacher. If it were a class and counted as a grade, I may call in some favors to my family to help me, but it isn’t and she has to learn to communicate and be responsible.
How do you teach your child consideration? Do they have to learn the hard way, like this? Does it depend on the child? Right now, she just expects me to take her to whatever activity and to know her schedule. In general, I know her schedule, but I don’t with this new choir. It is her thing and unless she brings something home to me, how would I know? But, do not bring me a note at 9:30 PM and expect me to change the whole family’s evening because you didn’t find out sooner. Find a way to get the info. Ask the teacher, ask the other students, and keep asking until you do get an answer. Don’t wait for the night before. If it were one of my babies, no problem. I did a lot of scrambling when Sydney was younger. But, now that she is older, it is her job to let us know what is going on well in advance. But it hurts my feelings that she has to miss out. I want to do it all so badly, but then what does that teach her? I don’t want her to learn that this is acceptable. She has no inner drive to do whatever tasks needing to be done or making sure plans are solidified. We have to remind, follow up, and remind some more. I’m done. We’ll see how that goes!
My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for opening the eyes of my heart to you, Lord. AMEN!
Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful that my biggest problem with my kid is poor organization and communication about extracurricular activities. It infuriates me, but it could be a whole lot worse and she really is a very special kid.
When I Have Kardashian Kash: A personal shopper and stylist would be pretty cool.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Red velvet- how are they so red with no Red Dye 40? Hmmmmmm…tasty, too!
I am thankful that my three year old is such a neat freak. I’d be royally screwed if he weren’t. He is all about doing it himself right now, and most of the time that is super helpful. When it is faster for me to do it for him, annoying, but most of the time it is a Godsend. I am super thankful for two kids that can do most things for themselves, and help me out when I am stuck changing a diaper, bathing the baby or anything else where I can’t turn my back for a second.
Easton picks up the living room every evening before we eat. He can’t help himself. He starts shaking if things are messy. He FREAKS out if Q grabs something of his because he doesn’t want her to slobber on it. The drool makes him nuts. And he doesn’t like that she can’t pick up after herself when she goes into his room. He’d rather they all play in the play room or in the living room. That doesn’t cause as much distress.
Syd is driven crazy that Easton doesn’t have any real chores. But he’s three! And, he has a daily to-do list. His list includes brushing his teeth, getting dressed, making his bed, picking up, feeding the dog, and not screaming. He generally puts up the silverware when she’s unloading the dishwasher. I’m not sure what else she wants. Syd’s chore list includes the same as Easton’s, but instead of screaming it’s crying, then there’s homework, make lunch, and has a weekly chore list of emptying dishwasher, pick up dog poo, empty recycle bin, clean glass tables, fold her clothes and clean her bathroom. Most days, she only has one big chore to do. Left up to her she’d do them all on Saturday and get nothing else done. She thinks she has a lot to do. And it’s not nothing. I want her to know how to do these things when she is working, in college, married and so on. I can’t tell you how many of my friends, myself included in some of this, don’t know how to organize, never make their beds and had to learn how to do laundry in college. I’m lucky to be married to a neat freak. Maybe that’s where Ebro gets it.
What chores do your children do? What did you do as a kid? Remember that the more you comment the more chance you have to win an I Heart Making Whoopie bumper sticker. We will be choosing a random commenter this week!
As a child I cleaned my room when I was told to, I made dinner when I was hungry if no one was home, made my own lunch and breakfast, folded towels or family’s clothes when I was told to, cleaned the kitchen when I was told to, and didn’t have anything super consistent. Sometimes I had a ton of chores, sometimes none. Sometimes my parents got mad that I didn’t do anything, other times things were fine. I had no clue what to do. I vacuumed pretty regularly and cleaned the kitchen every night, come to think of it. I don’t want Syd to have inconsistent rules or not know what the expectations are. I want her to know right now that leaving a trail throughout the house is no bueno. Leaving clothes on the floor or wet towels on the bed- nope! They have a place. I don’t want her to be shocked when I expect that from her at 19. She needs to know now. And same with Easton and Baby Q. They will have the same expectations. And if they want to give their allowances to each other to do the other’s chores, go for it. I don’t care- here is what you are supposed to do, just get it done without me having to remind you. It gets better and better every day, but sometimes I wonder why they don’t think they have to do anything to help out.
My Daily Prayer: God, please touch those in authority and give them guidance. Lead them down Your path and help them make good decisions. AMEN!
Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for my mini neat freak and my mini me.
When I Have Kardashian Kash: Right now I’m disgusted at the price of high fashion. I wonder if I’ll still feel that way. I’m okay spending a some money on shoes, when I have it, but thousands for a piece of clothing or purse seems redonkulous. I can’t wait to see if I still feel that way.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Java Lana Chip Whoopies- Chocolate cookie/cakes filled with a Starbucks inspired filling.
Sydster isn’t the girliest of girls and most of you know that Ebro likes to wear my shoes. But, Bud is still very much a boy and very different than his sisters. Until I had him, I was very much of the nurture versus nature school of thought. Now that I have two girls and a boy, I believe in nature versus nurture.
After sharing a bathroom with two brothers, I thought all boys were disgusting pigs. Fortunately, I married the tidiest man ever and one who doesn’t need to pee in the bushes. But, last weekend Syd and I caught Bud with his pants down peeing in the bushes. He didn’t learn that from his daddy and he most certainly didn’t learn that from Sydney or me. Nature.
Syd likes singing and performing and cries from paper cuts and skinned knees. Ebro likes to run around, get dirty, and maybe only cries if there is blood. Q only cries if she’s hungry and I’m not fast enough, but we’ll see how she turns out.
I am very glad to have a baby girl. With Ebro, once the diaper came off, the stream could hit you in the face if you didn’t cover it in time. With Q, she just leave a little puddle. Mouth breathing is okay again, if I were a mouth breather.
Syd may be extra sensitive, but she’s not very touchy feeley. Ebro loves nothing more than to snuggle. He wants to be held, sit in my lap, and thanks me anytime I pat his head. The funny thing is he only co-slept with us for a few months. Sydney slept with me for a year and ended up in my bed every night for the next three years. I guess she got her fill of mommy time. Bud isn’t just sweet with me, he loves everyone. Both he and Syd are outgoing and have never met a stranger. But Ebro doesn’t mind roughhousing and such. Syd can’t stand someone looking at her sideways.
I guess we’ll just have to wait on Q to settle the nature versus nurture argument. Or maybe she’ll just further confuse them.
My daily prayer: Thank you God for the people in my life. Thank you for a husband whose strengths are my weaknesses, for a loving son who warms my heart every day, a sweet and poignant daughter, and a baby girl that makes us all laugh.
I am constantly asked if I was a young mother when I had Syd. Yes and no. I did not get knocked up in high school like most of the inquirers are not so tactfully trying to find out, but I was twenty. Not too young, but looking back over the last almost eleven years, pretty dang young!
We often tease Syd that she is our guinea pig. Unfortunately, that is what the first child is. But, more than anything, I remember when I was a child and try to treat her/raise her the way I wanted to be raised at that age. I lived with my mom until I was twelve and my dad until I graduated from high school. I had inconsistent rules, felt unfairly treated and was surrounded by alcoholism and a slightly crazy stepmother. Whenever I was treated unfairly or felt crazy because everyone around me truly was, I vowed that I would not make my child feel that way. I was not pushed to work harder at school, or practice the cello, nor did I do any sports or extracurricular activities other than my instrument. I was told not to pursue acting because it is next to impossible to get into- you have to have an agent, but you have to do this or that to get an agent and you have to have an agent to get this or that. My stepmother was discouraging. And not just trying to be realistic.
So, when I found out I was having Sydney, I saw it as an opportunity to be that person I wanted in my life. I wanted someone to push me, stick up for me, be my biggest fan, my biggest constructive critic, and a parent and not a friend. I wanted clear boundaries, fulfilled promises and the feeling of unconditional love. I embraced my pregnancy, then my baby and told her it was us against the world. I still tell her that, but we now have a large team standing with us.
Sydney was my reason to shape up and be something. I was never pushed and never had the drive to push myself. I was a mediocre student despite scoring highly on tests. I dropped out of school and focused on getting into restaurant management. I worked crazy hours to accomidate breastfeeding my baby so that I didn’t have to get on food stamps or WIC. I never got on wealfare or food stamps. I did live with my mom and Bob for the first nine months of her life. I moved out as soon as I could so that I didn’t feel like a mooch. I didn’t want my parents or the government taking care of a decision that I made.
Management never happened, but I ran into a lady when I was getting a togo order who said I had waited on her the night before. I apologized profusely. She laughed and told me that it was a great experence and gave me a card for a manager at a credit union. I called the lady and was hired as a teller. I moved up to Lead Teller in just a couple of months, and later member services and Assistant Branch Manager in less than five years. And, I went back to school at the same time.
I bought a house in Dallas (when I was just 25), and found a manager position at a local credit union. It didn’t work out, but led me to my current job. I’ve been with my company for five years now- three as contract labor and two as an employee. And, I graduated college with a degree in Arts and Performance all while doing it. And, I married an actor. If I can’t be one, marry one.
I couldn’t have done any of this had I not had Syd. She gave me structure, confidence, and I really needed to be needed. That is what pushed me. She pushes me everyday, and not just because she is now a hormonal, moody tween. She pushes me to be the best me possible so that I can push her to be the best her possible. A lot of people think that I am too hard on her, but I don’t want her to learn from her mistakes or the hard way. I want her to learn how to study now. I want her to learn how to be organized now. I don’t want her to struggle with these things like I did. I want her to have any opportunity to do whatever she wants to do. If she wants to be an actor, go for it. If she wants to be a brain surgeon, great. If she wants to just be a secretary, no problem.
Syd teaches me how to love without limit. She teaches me to listen, be patient, and how to be a girl. She is the kindest, smartest and most beautiful girl inside and out. She is very sensitive, but it is beacuse she is so kindhearted and can’t understand how anyone can be mean. I love this about her. She is out going, creative, and brilliant with everything she does. And, she is the best sister anyone could have. She was an only child for seven years and now has two siblings. She adjusted to both and is best friends with her little bro.
I am still learning, not at all a perfect parent, impatient at times, and expect too much. But, I learn something from Syd every day. I appreciate something new about her everyday. She is our Sydster and we love her very much. Thank you Syd for being you!
My daily prayer: Dear God, thank you for making me the parent and wife my family needs for me to be. Thank you for letting me hear their needs, and being there when they need me. AMEN!
Tomorrow- Family Friday- Boys vs. Girls
Next week- Oklahoma!